JMS modifies uniform policy

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beginning with the 2011-12 school year, Jemison Middle School will offer more choices as part of its mandatory uniform dress code for students.

“When we informed parents and students that we were going to keep the uniforms even after the board’s county-wide vote, we had an even mix of positive and negative responses,” JMS Principal Mark Knight said in a release. “But both supporters and opponents suggested we broaden the policy some.”

Starting in August, students may wear collared shirts of any solid color, not just navy, gray and white as required by the initial policy. Also, students may opt to wear a school-related T-shirt any day of the week, not just on game days.

“But the no-denim policy remains,” Knight said. “Students will need to wear khaki, black or navy pants with the collared shirt or Jemison tee. No jeans.

“In April, the board did not vote to support an idea to make school uniforms a county-wide policy, but after the ‘no’ vote, the superintendent told those of us that already had board-approved uniform codes that we could keep them,” Knight said. “Jemison Middle never wavered in its decision to keep their uniforms.

The Chilton County Board of Education on April 19 voted against the implementation of a county-wide uniform policy, but previously approved policies at individual schools were unchanged.

“Because the opponents made the most noise, it’s easy to think that the community as a whole was against our uniforms, but it would surprise many to know that we had as many emails and calls supporting them as we did complaints. Parents and teachers both know that our dramatic decrease in discipline issues, our improved safety and our increased academic scores all came about when we brought in uniforms, and we’re not willing to sacrifice safety for fashion.”

Students will still not be allowed to wear hoodies, cargo pants or kangaroo pouches. And the policy of not allowing hair in the eyes is still in effect.

But Knight said the addition of color choices will satisfy most.

“With more colors, we allow for more choice while still maintaining the integrity of the dress code policy. Everyone wins—most importantly, the students.”

Parents wanting more information to know more about the updated uniform policy can view it online or get a copy at registration in August.

Registration for students new to Jemison schools is from 9-11 a.m. and from 1-3 p.m. on Aug. 11; for students returning to JMS, including new fifth graders, registration is on Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.